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Spotify’s new deal with indie labels shows it’s getting serious about the upcoming IPO

Spotify just signed a new licensing deal with Merlin, the organization that represents thousands of independent record labels. This is another important step in the company’s march toward going public later this year. And like its recent deal with Universal Music Group, this one reportedly gives rights holders the option to keep new music off of Spotify’s free tier temporarily. If widely utilized, the provision could have the effect of pushing more people to pony up and pay for Spotify. Or maybe they’ll just pirate new tunes. Either way, this detail placates the labels and helps Spotify take another step toward the stock market. JPT